Lou Piniella has been one of my favorite baseball managers since I began following the sport. After today’s Chicago Cubs game, he will step away from his managerial duties, and start his retirement.
Of course I can recall he was actually quite a fine player in his day. It can be easy to forget Lou’s career as a player, but those old ball games they re-broadcast of the Yankees are around to remind me. He is often called “Sweet” Lou by the fans.
Another vantage point of vintage Lou kicking dirt:
Lou may be the last of a breed of managers in Major League Baseball. Lou is a ball of fire when provoked. All managers of a ball team will run out on the field to argue a call by the umpires. However, Lou is the last of the managers who will not hesitate to kick a little dirt on the ump.
His tirades are the stuff of legend because he does not have to revert to an act like that minor league manager who recreated a scene from the Battle of the Bulge. (Thank you P. Wellman)
For Sweet Lou, a simple toss and kick of his hat does much more talking than a mime’s grenade. If Lou needs to up the ante, then tossing a base is not out of the realm of possibility.
Once Lou even tried to fight a player of his after a game! I can’t find video on the net of this, but it did happen way back in the day when he managed the Cincinnati Reds. Most managers of the last decade do not possess the qualities that Lou does. We may never see another one like him for quite some time.
Lou has managed the New York Yankees, Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bat Rays, and the Chicago Cubs. He is 14th on the managerial wins all-time list.
I am really going to miss you Sweet Lou!